Column: The contraceptive distraction
The attention given to the religious freedom argument over contraceptives is merely a distraction from the Obama Administration's new budget proposal.
Feb. 17, 2012
The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.
One week ago, the Obama Administration modified ObamaCare so that religion- affiliated hospitals, universities and charities would not have to provide or pay for contraception. Cries rang out from sea to shining sea that the president had seen the light and stood up for religious freedom! Not so fast. Although President Barack Obama claimed to accommodate nonprofit religious organizations by eliminating the requirement that they directly provide birth control, the insurance companies that cover these organizations will not be able to opt out of providing contraceptives.
In other words, a Catholic high school does not have to pay its health insurance carrier to provide benefits for contraceptives, but if an employee of the Catholic high school gets a prescription for contraceptives, the school’s insurance has to pay for them. So, unless contraceptives start falling from the sky, which ObamaCare might very well require through magic and sorcery, insurance companies will have to raise premiums in some general, undefined way to cover these products, whether they're explicitly "covered" in the plan or not. Big surprise — what Obama announced on Friday morning did not change anything but wording, but that's only half the story.
While Americans were distracted by the attack on religious freedom, the Obama Administration introduced another outlandish budget proposal. This budget includes an estimated federal deficit of $1.33 trillion for Fiscal Year 2013. It seems that they're trying to keep up their historic spending habits. FY 2012 is on target to end with a $1.1 trillion deficit. The final deficit for FY 2011 was 1.3 trillion, which came out to a whopping 8.6 percent of gross domestic product.
These deficits are truly historic. The only times in history a United States federal budget showed a deficit of more than 6 percent, our nation was at war, either the Civil War, World War I or World War II, according to the Weekly Standard.
Furthermore, if Obama’s budgets themselves aren’t frightening enough, consider a quote from the White House's own blog on Feb. 23, 2009. The post says, "This is big -— the President today promised that by the end of his first term, he will cut in half the massive federal deficit we've inherited. And we'll do it in a new way: honestly and candidly."
Not only has this administration outspent every administration in the history of America, it has also failed to live up to its own standards. The lack of fiscal discipline shown the last three years has demonstrated that this administration cannot cut its own deficits in half, much less the one it inherited.
Obama is not a socialist as many on the right would like to portray him. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is not socialized medicine. This administration's continually failing Keynesian policies do not equate in any way to socialism. The President and his advisers simply do not know what they're doing, and their policies do not work.
Sure, there's always an argument for spending on more infrastructure. In fact, many Republican presidents such as Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower oversaw huge government-funded infrastructure programs. The difference between these presidents and Obama is that the former acted in situations that actually called for federal intervention because there was a demand for projects, and they were nationwide projects. The Obama administration seems to believe that it can create demand.